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Franz Kafka quotes Showing 1-30 of 1,480

“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
Franz Kafka
“I am a cage, in search of a bird.”
Franz Kafka
“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.”
Franz Kafka
“Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”
Franz Kafka
“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”
Franz Kafka
“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.”
Franz Kafka
“I am free and that is why I am lost.”
Franz Kafka
“I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.”
Franz Kafka
“I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.”
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis
“A First Sign of the Beginning of Understanding is the Wish to Die.”
Franz Kafka
“The meaning of life is that it stops.”
Franz Kafka
“All language is but a poor translation.”
Franz Kafka
“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity."

[Letter to Max Brod, July 5, 1922]”
Franz Kafka
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
Franz Kafka
“Books are a narcotic.”
Franz Kafka
“By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.”
Franz Kafka
“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.”
Franz Kafka
“Paths are made by walking”
Franz Kafka
“Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.”
franz kafka
“I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.”
Franz Kafka
“I can’t think of any greater happiness than to be with you all the time, without interruption, endlessly, even though I feel that here in this world there’s no undisturbed place for our love, neither in the village nor anywhere else; and I dream of a grave, deep and narrow, where we could clasp each other in our arms as with clamps, and I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more.”
Franz Kafka, Franz Kafka's The Castle
“It's only because of their stupidity that they're able to be so sure of themselves.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.”
Franz Kafka
“There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe ... but not for us.”
Franz Kafka
“He is terribly afraid of dying because he hasn’t yet lived.”
Franz Kafka
“I am in chains. Don't touch my chains.”
Kafka, Franz
“I usually solve problems by letting them devour me.”
Franz Kafka
“I have spent all my life resisting the desire to end it.”
Franz Kafka, Letters to Milena
“Now I can look at you in peace; I don't eat you any more.”
Franz Kafka
“I am constantly trying to communicate something incommunicable, to explain something inexplicable, to tell about something I only feel in my bones and which can only be experienced in those bones. Basically it is nothing other than this fear we have so often talked about, but fear spread to everything, fear of the greatest as of the smallest, fear, paralyzing fear of pronouncing a word, although this fear may not only be fear but also a longing for something greater than all that is fearful.”
Franz Kafka, Letters to Milena

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